Purveyor: The Trinity Bar Surry Hills NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Chicken Schnitzel Burger
Price: $17 AUD
Squawk: The first thing you notice when this bad boy arrives is that the schnitzel is too big for the bun. This is not a huge problem, we just cut (nibbled) it away until it resembled a normal sized burger. Some might say that’s good value, but the schnitty isn’t anything special so more of it isn’t really a bonus, but if you’re starving, this will definitely fill you up. Even if the bird isn’t amazing, they almost make up for it with a wide selection of sauces, three kinds of mustards. And most interestingly, seasoned salts which were a lot of fun to experiment with.
Buaawk: The roll wasn’t anything special, the chips were some of the worst we’ve had – soft, light and greasy. They seemed almost hollow, as if they were shells of their former (delicious?) selves. Good chips with any burger seems like a pretty easy get if your cooks care, and Trinity Bar misses the opportunity to get an important staple right.
Bonus Points: For the $5 and $6 beer specials and the varied sauce and seasoned salt selection.
Purveyor: The North Bondi Bowlo, Bondi NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Fried Schnitz Burger w/ Aioli, Sweet Chilli, American Cheese, Iceberg and Bacon
Price: $18 AUD
Squawk: Ladies and Gentlemen we have a real contender here. This one has all the things we love in the middle like bacon, tomato, lettuce, and a perfectly fried piece of delicious breast meat – not overly crispy, just nice and golden. Plus it it had one of those square American cheese slices that we love so well because they’re so perfectly white trash. And we especially enjoyed the Australian made Diemen’s “Stinger” hot sauce – that’s the hot one (there were two options).
Buaawk: The roll is fine, but they missed an opportunity here. The accompanying chick pea salad tasted like it came from a can. Not good, but maybe it was just for decoration anyway. The bacon was limp, not crispy, but at least it was there. OK chips. And the love of all that is holy, sweet chili has no business on this burger (or any other) and should be optional. We say stick with the Diemen’s. For our money Dijon mustard, a better roll and crispier bacon could have taken this one all the way.
Bonus Points: Great venue on a summer/sunny day. Highly recommended.
We met the Free Range LA guys back in 2013 at a famous Pancake Breakfast event a friend of our throws, and we reckon they
have a real contender on their hands. We'll be in LA in November trying a whole bunch of new things so stay tuned for a full report on the Free Range LA menu. BUT... in the meantime, please peep this amazing lil pin they got made as part of a colab with Hungry Eyes NY. We want! If you've seen a better chicken burger pin we want to know.
Update: Now with FRIES!
Purveyor: The Lord Gladstone, Chippendale NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Fried Chicken Burger
Price: $24 AUD (with a beer)
Squawk: When we asked locals where the best chicken burger in the neighborhood was, the answer was unanimous. So we went straight over to the Lord Gladstone with high hopes. The chicken is very, very nice. Fried, but not too crunchy or oily and the white meat was moist and tender. We enjoyed the string fries and the plain paper chip holder they came in.
Buaawk: Sadly the Happy Rock wasn’t as much a winner as we’d hoped. But it could be some of that was just bad luck. For example, while the chicken was good, and the portion generous, we felt it needed more complimentary flavours – it was light on slaw and the Sriracha mayo was non-existent so overall it was dry and bland. We also were told they had Franks Hot Sauce which could have given this one a serious nudge, but we only found out after we’d finished. To their credit, Sriracha was on offer, but given the choice, this burger begs for Franks. They make sort of a big deal about the bread calling it an “New York style soft bun,” but it was pretty plain, and very sweet. For now we’re calling it low, but we will go back – to give the kitchen another chance to find the slaw and for us to find the Franks.
Note: Look for our other review of their special KFC Korean kimchee chicken burger coming soon.
Purveyor: The Paddington Inn, Paddington NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Charred Chicken Burger
Price: $19 AUD
Squawk: This is an underrated pub in all sorts of ways. Its unassuming street presence belies its modern and vast interior with various rooms, nooks and chill-out areas. The music isn’t awful and it’s not too loud and the candle light creates accost atmosphere. But you, you would sit on a cold rock, surrounded by stacks of speakers and Drum & Bass pill fiends if it meant you could enjoy a ten out of ten chicken burger, and that’s why we love you. The Paddo does quite a few things right on this burger. For starters the brioche is amongst the best we’ve seen with the perfect amount of char. And they put bacon on it – yay! But like most places in Australia, left all the fat on – boo! The meat itself was actually quite bland – relying on the “surrounds” to do the heavy flavour lifting, sadly they don’t. But hey, they got great beers and friendly staff and you can always reach in and peel that bacon fat off.
Buaawk: The sauce on this one was… um… we forgot, because it was forgettable. But they almost make up for it by plonking a bottle of Sriracha on the table when we ask what they have with kick. The fries are fine, but not worth writing about. But what really irks us, and The Paddo isn’t alone in this regard is cooks who leave all the fat on bacon. Trim it!